Authors of section


Edward Ellis III, Warren Schubert

Executive Editors

Zein Gossous, Uzair Luqman, Rafael Cypriano, Peter Aquilina, Irfan Shah, Florian M Thieringer

General Editor

Daniel Buchbinder

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Coronoid process fractures

1. Diagnosis

Fractures of the coronoid process are relatively uncommon. It is generally accepted that they account for approximately 1% of all mandible fractures. The coronoid process is infrequently fractured because the zygomatic arch protects it.

A diagnosed coronoid fracture is an indication for the surgeon to look for an associated zygomatic arch fracture.

Coronoid process fractures

Coronoid fractures are often incidental findings on x-rays when looking for associated maxillofacial injuries.

Diagnosis of a coronoid process fracture would most likely be made on a panoramic x-ray or CT scan. Most commonly, there are other associated fractures. Isolated fractures of the coronoid process are extremely rare.

Coronoid process on panoramic X-ray

CT scans provide the best delineation of coronoid fracture morphology. This CT scan demonstrates a fracture of the left coronoid process.

Note the associated fracture of the mandibular angle region.

This CT scan demonstrates a fracture of the left coronoid process.

2. Indications for treatment

Very rarely does a fracture of the coronoid process require treatment. Most fractures are observed. Some surgeons would advocate the removal of the coronoid process in case of persistent mouth-opening restrictions.

In a surgically treated comminuted ramus fracture, an associated coronoid fracture may be reduced and fixed.

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